Secret Trump-Cohen tape: Why it's "possible" a crime was committed

Charlene Craig
July 25, 2018

Cohen had secretly recorded the conversation in 2016.

"I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David, so that I'm going to do that right away", Cohen says in the recording.

In the recording released on Tuesday, Cohen tells Trump of his plans to set up a shell company and then finance the purchase of the rights from AMI.

The lawyer tells the then-candidate, "we'll have to pay", and Trump is heard telling him, "pay with cash", though it's not clear from the muddled sound whether Trump is suggesting paying or not paying.

According to Mr Giuliani, in his transcript of the recording, Mr Trump says on the tape: "Don't pay with cash".

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According to people familiar with the matter who spoke to the WSJ, the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that Cohen had intervened in a previously unreported dispute between Manigault-Newman and American Media Inc., the media company that paid a former Playboy model for her story on an alleged affair with Trump.

Among them are a New York Times request to unseal Trump's divorce records related to his first wife Ivana.

"What kind of a lawyer would tape a client?"

Cohen's attorney has said he released the tape after being subjected to an "intense campaign of disparagement" by the president's team.

For those who wondered how President Donald Trump would spin the Michael Cohen tape that seems to prove that POTUS lied about having no knowledge of the Karen McDougal payoff, here's how: It was doctored. An attorney for Cohen called Trump's statement "false".

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Rudy Guilliani, one of President Trump's current lawyers, previously denied that any payment was ever made in relation to the McDougal story.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, posted on Twitter that the Cohen tape shows that Giuliani was "untruthful" when he said Trump didn't know about the payments.

Note that Giuliani also asks why Cohen and his lawyer Lanny Davis are leaking privileged and confidential information. "I got it." The audio cuts to what appears to be a new recording after that.

Cohen told ABC News in an interview released on Jul 2 that his family and the country commanded his "first loyalty", fuelling that speculation.

Michael Cohen and the publisher of the National Enquirer forged an alliance over the years, looking out for the interests of Donald Trump and each other.

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